I am a gardener, like many of you.
In years past, I have grown fruit, vegetables and ornamentals. Your work in the garden makes things grow. As a result of my Bible studies recently, I have decided all men are gardeners.
I am not talking about the literal gardener, with the gloves, pruning shears and potting soil. I am talking about a spiritual gardener.
The question is what garden are you working in and what are you going to grow this year? For this little home and garden column we will begin in Genesis and end up in Matthew and Mark.
The first garden is the Garden of Eden. This is where we see the fall, original sin, the Big Boo or where the first man was breaking bad. I know most blame Eve at this point, but it was Adamâ€™s job to protect the woman.
He was also given the mandate in Genesis 2:16 to not loot certain fruit. Since God gave him the memo, he was responsible for making sure his lady followed the law. Not only was either he missing or passive, after she had her little Satan snack, she offers him the leftovers.
Of course he takes a big bite. They both became aware of their sin, and start to change their outsides (fig leaves) to cover up their insides. They then begin the playing of hide and seek with God. The rest is history.
This garden guy is a model of irresponsibility. Donâ€™t follow the rules and donâ€™t hold your family accountable either.
When Eve was offered the fatal fruit, where was Adam? Maybe he was with her, but maybe at work, with his friends, on the internet or watching football.
Men being absent from the family in America is a very big problem in our community and society. And when we get caught with the hand in the fruit jar, we often donâ€™t man up, admit it and get right with God or family.
We lie, deny, blame the others and just donâ€™t take responsibility for our behavior. If you are working in this garden, you are a man who doesnâ€™t follow the rules and you donâ€™t pay attention if your family is doing the same. When was the last time you called one of your childrenâ€™s teachers to see how they are doing?
There is also the great garden guy that we see in the Garden of Gethsemane. This is the day before Jesus goes to the cross. He is suffering and sacrificing for others. He is accepting of the bitter fruit that is on His plate.
Â In Matthew 26:36 and elsewhere in Mark 14, we see him working (praying) and directing others to do the same. â€œWatch and prayâ€ is His petition, but they fall asleep again and again. After the third time the slackers slumber, Jesus says â€œCome on letâ€™s go. Iâ€™m going to be betrayed!â€ His disciples fell into temptation and Jesus followed His painful path.
Jesus in the second garden gives us a good menâ€™s manual.
Stay the path, put up with the pain, and push others in the right direction. When we do the hard work in the garden, we get growth.
We get a college degree, a good father or a colleague at work we can depend on. We also leave a legacy. Men and others around us see what we do, and they do better. Look at the disciples afterwards. For Jesusâ€™ hard work, He got a right hand to the throne. The disciples led thousands down the right path, and got books written in their name.
This year, what garden are you going to be working in?